Feminism: Sex & gender discussions
Ecotricity backing Assange
PlonitbatPlonit · 11/02/2016 17:40
On Twitter and Facebook Ecotricity take a stand backing Julian Assange twitter.com/ecotricity/status/695607135388958721
I wrote to them, outraged, as follows:
"I note your twitter and Facebook comments in support of Julian Assange, a man accused of the very serious crime of rape who has evaded attempts at prosecution.
I was aware, through media reporting, that Dale Vince appears to regard the upbringing of children to be the uncompensated burden of women alone for which men need take no financial responsibility, and in relation to which women are not entitled to seek legal redress. However, I regarded this private sexism, however distasteful, as irrelevant to my position as a consumer of ecotricity products. However, when the company publicly endorses Julian Assange, it crosses a line - this is no longer the private sexist opinions or actions of employees, directors or your public relations department. As a company you publicly endorse the position that men accused of rape should not have to cooperate with normal legal processes.
I am beyond disappointed with this position. I was an ‘early adopter’ of ecotricty and have also encouraged many friends and family members to switch over the years, also name-checking the company when doing tours of my house as part of Cambridge Carbon Footprint openecohomes, and the SuperHomes open day. I find that you are the most effective of the green energy companies. However, if the endorsement of Assange by ecotricity is not removed and replaced by a statement that this was a mistake, I will be changing my electricity supply to another of the green energy providers, and explaining in the most far-reaching way I can manage why I have taken this action."
Their response was as follows:
"Thankyou for your email. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
We sometimes post stuff on social media that has little to do with renewable energy… Orang-utans, Hen Harriers and Veganism are a few recent examples. What do we support as a company? In addition to supporting renewable energy, action on climate change and room for nature, we also support …
.. in this case, freedom of speech, legal protection for whistleblowers, protection of political dissidents from persecution and human rights abuses – and this post was directly in relation to efforts by America to extradite Julian Assange on allegations of espionage and was made on the day that the UN Working Group made a decision on his Arbitrary Detention (in the BBC link).
We deliberately did not make a judgement or comment on the specific allegations he faces in Sweden. However the post was in relation to justice for all parties and of course we support Assange being questioned on the allegations of rape. And to be clear, we do not support ‘victim blaming’ or ‘rape culture’ both of which are among the accusations that have been made as a result of the social media posts.
Here is some interesting reading by people and organisations who specialise in investigating and exposing human rights abuses, such as journalist Jonathan Cook: www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2987076/lies_about_assange_and_un_human_rights_jurists_imperil_us_all.html
And Dinah PoKempner from Human Rights Watch: www.hrw.org/news/2016/02/05/assange-following-rules-or-flouting-them
We hope this helps explain more about where we are coming from."
I don't think that's good enough. We are talking about someone who went through the entire legal process of fighting extradition, exhausted all appeals etc.... lost, and then broke his bail conditions, and is a fugitive avoiding being interviewed for the crime of rape (in fact, as I understand it, because of the way the Swedish legal system works he is actually avoiding being charged with rape since their system requires an arrest for interview before charge). So, I've changed supplier to LoCO2 (who also do 100% green tariff which is actually cheaper than ecotricity and also reinvest in new renewables - which is one of the reasons I went with ecotricity in the first place). I'd like to start a bit of a Mumsnet campaign to get as many ecotricity customers to switch AND TELL ECOTRICITY WHY. They may think evading rape charges is trivial, but they shouldn't be allowed to assume their customers feel the same way.
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